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a preventable disaster. a panel of experts in japan releases a report on the fukushima daiichi accident saying human error led to the crisis at the nuclear plant. welcome to nhk world "newsline." a number of different panels have been trying to work out what went wrong at fukushima daiichi. their main conclusion, the crisis at the plant was manmade. that crisis started on march 11th, 2011, and continues to this day.
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panel chair kyoshi handed the report to the speaker of the diet's lower house and the president of the upper house. he and his fellow experts met 20 times since last december. their report analyzes the underlying causes of the accident. it says that both the government and tokyo electric power company, or tepco, missed opportunities to develop basic safety requirements and ignored warnings about the possible impact of tsunami. the panel says that tsunami should not be considered as the only factor in the impact of the earthquake on the facility should also be taken into account. tepco blamed only the tsunami in its investigation. the report emphasizes tepco failed to give staff at fukushima daiichi enough training to take proper countermeasures in the event of a disaster. the panel also notes the role of tepco and the government had not been clearly defined should a serious accident occur. it says this tloed the failure to contain the situation. the report also looks at japan's
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nuclear power industry. it strongly condemns tepco for using its dominant position to loosen regulations. it also criticizes the utility for refusing to disclose information even after the disaster. the panel says workers at japan's nuclear regulatory agencies were no better. it evaluates their level of expertise as poor. it says the nuclear and industrial safety agency and the nuclear safety commission didn't maintain independence from pro-nuclear government bodies and didn't prioritize public safety. nhk world's mitsuk mitsuko nishikawa has spent the day reading the report. you've read the script in detail. this diet appointed panel says fukushima daiichi accident clearly was a manmade disaster. how did member comes to that conclusion? >> well, they argue collusion between the government, tepco and nuclear regulators caused the accident.
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they point out all three groups showed a lack of governance. and they say they failed to correctly develop the most basic safety requirements. for example, assessing the probability of damage and developing evacuation plans. they say the disaster could have and should have foreseen and prevented. >> the report criticized then prime minister naoto kan and his office saying their actions actually got in the way of efforts to respond to the disaster. can you give us an example of what they did wrong? >> well, the report says communication between kan's office, tepco and nuclear regulators was unimaginably disorganized. they didn't use technology that would have enabled them to talk in realtime. and the experts say the lack of communication caused the prime minister to fly to fukushima daiichi to check on the emergency response. but they point out that this unprecedented and direct intervention took away the attention and time of on-site
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staff and confused the chain of command. the panel says this delayed the disaster prevention process. >> now the report isn't just critical of politicians and regulators. panel chair points a finger at out of all things, japanese culture. now what sort of things did it say about that? >> well, actually panel chair kyoshi says fukushima daiichi was a made in japan disaster. he says the fundamental causes are engraned in japanese culture. he cites reflexive obedience, a hesitation to question authority, a devotion to stick with the program and groupism. he says each and every japanese citizen should reflect deeply on what really happened on march 11th, 2011, to understand what really went wrong and to make sure similar mistakes aren't repeated. >> does diet-appointed panel is made up of scientists and lawyers. what else can you tell about its members? >> well, the panel included a
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citizen from the town that hosts fukushima daiichi. she and her neighbors had to flee the accident. more than a year later, they still can't go home. she represented the tens of thousands of evacuees during the investigation. >> translator: i felt we were left out by government and tepco officials as they worked disorderly without giving enough attention to us evacuees. lawmakers should realize each proposal we suggested in the report. >> she just said those proposals. what are they? >> well, panel members included seven proposals in their report. and they say the diet members should set a third party team to continue investigating the accident. they say they could -- they couldn't define how the accident developed into a more serious situation after the earthquake and tsunami hit the plant.
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they say time is needed to closely check pipes and indicators in the reactor buildings and containment vessels. other proposals include revising nuclear regulations and the government's crisis control system. >> and hopefully never again. thanks, mitsuko nishikawa. the european central bank will further cut its benchmark interest rates to support the region's ailing economy. policymakers at the board meeting in frankfurt agree to cut the key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to a new record low of 0.75%. the reduction in the benchmark rate is the first in seven months. the deposit rate will also be cut by 0.25 percentage points to 0%. much about the korean war has yet to be resolved. north and south of still bitter enemies. the two sides have yet to sign a formal peace agreement, and thousands of south korean soldiers are still unaccounted for.
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but bereaved families were given hope last month with the first return of the remains to the south. one woman waited six decades to lay her father to rest. nhk world's fumitako sato has her story. >> reporter: a homecoming 62 years after going to war. these are the remains of 12 south korean soldiers who lost their lives in the korean war. the fighting broke out in 1950. north korea invaded the south. triggering one of the bloodiest clashes of the last century.tri clashes of the last century. the three-year war claimed the lives of more than thousands of soldiers.
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130,000 south korean soldiers remain unaccounted for. it is believed that many of them died in the north. five years ago, it seemed they would finally be coming home. the two sides started negotiations on collecting the remains of south korean soldiers. >> translator: the north and south are in talks to resolve the issue of the soldiers' remains. we are working to forge stronger military trust. >> reporter: but since then, cross-border relations have chilled. there is no agreement on when to start excavation. last month's homecoming was an accident. an american team examining remains excavated in north korea under bilateral agreement. the team is looking for u.s. soldiers, but last year it found
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that some of the remains were south korean servicemen. south korean experts joined the investigation. a dna test revealed the identities of two of the men. one of them was private lee gapsu. lee served with the american army in the northeast of the peninsula. he died six months after the war began. he was 34 years old. this is his daughter. she had waited all her life for her father's return. after receiving the remains, she buried them alongside those of her mother. >> translator: iels like a miracle that his remains have returned home. i am so grateful.
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it is finally over. >> reporter: the south korean government hopes to close more cases. the bone excavation team is examining the remains of ten other bodies. they are trying to identify them with dna samples collected from families of the missing soldiers. >> translator: it's the responsibility of everyone in our nation to get these remains back to their families. we will not give up until the last body returns. >> reporter: but with relations between north and south at their worst level in years, prospects for more homecomings are slim. more than 60 years after the war, bereaved families wait for the grieving to end. >> n 4 hk -- nhk world's
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fumitaka sato filed the report. so, fumitaka, remains of south korean soldiers returned to the south for the first time since the war. why has it taken so long? >> yes. south koreans have put priority on the reunion of separated families rather than the return of remains. in recent years, it has become a race against time. the families are getting old. the reunions began after the first ever north-south summit in 2000. talks of excavation moved forward under the administration, but bilateral relations soured after lee myung-bak took over as president. and hopes to resolve the issue lost momentum. >> what about north korea? why is pyongyang's position on excavating the remains of u.s. and south korean soldiers? >> u.s. officials clinched a
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deal with north korea in 1993. this allowed them to excavate the remains of american soldiers. the excavations continued off and on until 2004. many experts assumed the u.s. paid a lot of money to the north. last month's north korean officials approached japan. they proposed that the two countries open talks on the return of remains. japanese civilians and the soldiers died in north korea before and after world war ii. pyongyang officials stress the humanity of returning the deceased to their families, but it is assumed money is a key motivation. so we can expect that the north will pursue excavation deals with the u.s. and japan. south korean families, though, could still have a long time to wait. >> thanks, fumitaka. operators of another nuclear
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facility have switched the power back on. the reactor at the ohi plant in central japan is now supplying electricity. japan has been without nuclear power since may. all reactors in the country have been offline for regular inspections. the government ordered further checks in response to safety concerns after the accident last year at fukushima daiichi. on sunday, engineers at ohi fired up the number three reactor for the first time in 15 months. >> translator: it's a relief that we can provide electric power to people in the kansei area. i want the operations to keep going with safety as the top priority. >> the engineers say they expect the reactor will reach full capacity next monday. they are scheduled to restart their number four reactor in about two weeks. japan is the only country that hunts whales for scientific purposes. the policy of research whaling
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is criticized by some countries. they say it's a cover for commercial whaling. now south korea is also facing criticism it plans to resume research whaling. south korea made the announcement at a meeting in panama city of the international whaling commission, or iwc. delegate kang joon-suk says his country may start hunting whales again. the fishermen are complaining it's defeating fishing stocks. they will submit a tropt the next iwc commission. kang sought support from the other commission members. he says cultural diversity should be respected. south korea's decision angered nations that oppose whaling. >> i am very disappointed by the announcement by south korea. we are completely opposed to whaling. there's no excuse for scientific whaling. and i have instructed our ambassador in south korea to
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raise this matter today at the highest levels of the korean government. >> we hope there will be a period of reflection so that international reaction can be taken into account by korean decisionmakers. >> macaulay says the mammals are already targeted by japan, and south korea's move is a setback for whale conservation. japan conducts research whaling in the antarctic and pacific oceans under an international accord. russia's prime minister reopened old wounds this week when he visited a russian-held island claimed by japan. japan's foreign ministry protested the visit, but prime minister dmitry medvedev says he doesn't care. medvedev on tuesday visited kunashiri island off hokkaido. japan claims sovereignty over the territory, along with three neighboring islands. the russian leader told journalists he's indifferent to japan's reaction. he said he doesn't want to waste time answering questions on the matter, and as if to make sure the issue remains a bilateral
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irritant, he even suggested more russian reporters should cover his next trip. more and more readers are -- or more and more readers have a glow on their faces when they start in on a book. they are using smartphones and tablet computers to read the latest business tech's crime thriller or novel. publishers around the world are reshaping the market for electronic book readers and newcomers in japan are also fighting for their share. >> reporter: once upon a time, only the most tech savvy readers read books electronically. now publishers, distributors, a cast of characters from 50 countries have gathered in tokyo for the ebook expo. one of the largest trade shows of its kind. >> this is the first time we attend book fair in tokyo because japan -- >> the japan market is a little
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bit slower to come around to the whole digital book kind of revolution. but it's coming around. >> reporter: executives at u.s. online retailer amazon announced last week that they would launch a japanese version of the kindle. amazon dominates the global market for readers. u.s. sales of the kindle topped 1 million units a week for three straight weeks during the last christmas season. the germans and french are buying them up, too. the people at amazon are preparing to offer a range of japanese content when they launch here. but a japanese giant could change the plant. later this month, online retailer rakuten will release a japanese-capable reader of its own. the company will sell a device made by kobo, a canadian ebook retailer it acquired last year. consumers will be able to pick one up for about $100.
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>> translator: we want to introduce an ebook reader that anyone can easily access and let people enjoy content from around the world. we hope our new reader will start a revolution in the book industry in japan and around the globe. >> earlier, nhk world's ron madison spoke with damian thong, a senior analyst at mcgwire securities and is an expert on the ebook market. >> thanks for being with us. let's talk about this now because it's a very unique situation that we have here in japan. it's one of the most literate countries in the world. also a very tech -- gadget-savvy society. it seems like really a match made in heaven, but that's really not the case here, right? >> it's amazing. the number of books or ereaders sold in japan was still 1/200th of the united states. it looks like that's set to change as amazon and rakuten aim to crack the market.
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>> okay. now we've been talking about amazon entering the market. it's going to be a very big deal here. we also heard mr. mikitani talking about his device that's going to be priced very low. do you think the main battlefield will be between amazon and the kobo device? also sony entering the market. or will it be split between other platforms like smartphones and tablet computers? >> it would seem to me that the first contest or first struggle might be with the entrenched distribution system for books in japan. certainly in japan, it's a big book market. about $22 billion a year. about 1.5 billion books are printed every year. but amazingly, all of this is still done through host of distributors and book stores. 15,000 bookstores in japan. certainly, i think there's a lot of resistance to change but if they can deliver a system for the publishers to publish books at lower costs with higher margins, this could be the first battleground they might win and then reach out more strongly to consumers. >> okay. and speaking about getting it
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spread and saturated in this region, what have been some of the main hurdles for the creators of the continent and the physical devices. >> certainly in asia there's a diverse population, many languages and japan has a population that, obviously, reads in japanese characters. high resolution displays are very crucial for this market. certainly, i think technology has advanced that books can be published in multiple languages and displayed at high resolutions sufficient that even those with bad eyesight could actually have a good chance of reading it clearly. >> right. okay. and, you know, specifically here in japan, i think for japanese, it's more than just, you know, the words that they are taking in. it's all about buying the book, holding it in their hands, having even a little paper wrapper around it. will the huge physical book market ever be overtaken by ebooks? >> it's hard to say. i think there's a strong cultural compone tonight booene.
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i think it's been highlighted the market could be logistic. maybe the bigger issue or the challenge is to bring people back to books in whatever form it is and, therefore, growth in the ereader market and ebooks in a whole could bring more people back to the paper book market. certainly that will be the hope for the publishers. the best of both worlds for everyone. >> certainly is a huge market they'll be tapping into. it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. damian, thanks so much. damian thong, analyst at mcqaurie securities. here are the latest market figures.
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for an update on the weather forecast, here's mai shoji. mai? >> hi. severe storms have been battering northern japan. let's take a look at this video coming out from aomori prefecture. it's from today. it's a video from hirosaki. a tornado or a tornado-like feature blew through the area damaging more than 40 homes and injuring one person. 470 lost -- households lost power and more than 100 still out of electricity. now within the debris, many large pieces of homes were torn off and scattered across the ground. you can see here. while this particular storm was just one of the cluster of storms that blew up across northern japan. let's pull back and show you that this condition -- these conditions will be remaining and persisting across muchf
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northern japan regions. hokkaido will see lots of hefty amounts of rainfall. that will be about 40 or 50 millimeters in an hour. short time heavy rain across these areas. this is relevant to the rain band that's stretching across these regions. now what's going to happen is that warm air will be surged into this rain band which is going to be moving towards western japan now. so western japan will be targeted with hefty amounts of rainfall. northern kyushu, the flooding situation not completely alleviated yet, but some areas would see about 150 millimeters in the next 24 hours. 60 millimeters of -- in an hour. short time heavy rain could target these regions. even in some of the southern regions of kyushu could accumulate rainfall as much as 120 millimeters. even in and around the korean peninsula, especially in the
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central regions, 120 millimeters could be felt in the next 24 hours. and short time heavy rain could trigger flooding situations here, too. in china, things are going to be tapering off, but still localized areas may see about 250 millimeters in the next 24 hours. really messy and unstable conditions continue in the indo china peninsula as well as the philippines. take a look at your temperatures soaring up to 30 degrees here in tokyo. really uncomfortable, humid weather here for tomorrow yet again. and shanghai reaching up to 37 degrees. well above average. moving over to the americas now, the moisture has surged from the pacific all the way out towards wyoming and montana. severe weather, however, will be felt in and around these regions. and that could get targeted with some tornadic activity which could not be ruled out. large hail as well as damaging winds are also possibilities, too. but showers across these regions where drought conditions were severe. much-needed rain is finally going to be there.
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however, drought conditions means really dry land so flash flooding is going to be at high risk as well. across much of eastern half of this continent, looking really sizzling hot. oklahoma city at 37 degrees. reaching up to 38 here in washington, d.c. even denver reaching 34. all right. moving over to the european continent, things still very wet and unstable across much of the west and in the central portions. especially where the two air masses collide. this is where some severe activity could be felt. in the british aisles, total accumulation could be as much as 70 millimeters. do watch out for flooding conditions. temperaturewise, soaring in the 30s. budapest up to 37 degrees. on the other side of the jet stream, though, 21 in london. here's your extended forecast.
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a giant panda has been born at tokyo's ueno zoo. it's the first time in 24 years at the zoo through natural breeding. the cub's gender is still unknown. it was born on thursday to shin shin, who is on loan from china. zookeepers have been preparing for the birth since shin shin first appeared pregnant in june. she gave birth thursday shortly after noon after showing signs of labor the day before. keepers say they'll be watching the mother and baby around the
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clock. both are reportedly healthy. halfway across the world, more than 100 people dressed as giant pandas took to the streets of london. 108 people wearing costumes filled trafalgar square. that's equal to the number of pandas at the cheng du panda base. a major facility for breeding and research. they staged a taichi performance promoting panda awareness week. they chose london because of the attention it's attracting ahead of the olympics. the costume pandas will visit primary schools and other places. they will spread the word about protecting the endangered species. we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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Newsline 30min
KCSMMHZ July 5, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

NEWSLINE updates viewers with the latest hard news every hour, covering world events and business-related news, as well as providing global weather forecasts.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Fukushima Daiichi 8, Tepco 7, U.s. 7, Japan 7, Tokyo 6, North Korea 5, Nhk 5, South Korea 4, London 3, Pyongyang 2, China 2, Hokkaido 2, Us 2, Montana 1, Hirosaki 1, Booene 1, Shanghai 1, Washington 1, Damian 1, Wyoming 1
Duration 00:30:01
Rating TV-PG(TV-PG)
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Source Off-Air Channel 43
Tuner Channel 43 (647 MHz)
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